Rape retribution, revenge or rehabilitation?

‘Global moratorium on Executions’
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Arthur Koestler Profile Picture.


Amnesty International released their annual report on capital punishment, highlighting information on the differing ways countries handle execution around the world. Methods of execution vary between regions based on culture and available technology, and they usually include standard tactics, such as hanging, beheading, firing squad, and lethal injection.

“Deep inside every civilized being there lurks a tiny Stone Age man, dangling a club to rob and rape, and screaming an eye for an eye. But we would rather not have that little fur-clad figure dictate the law of the land.” – Arthur Koestler.

In Papua New Guinea, for example, a woman and her two daughters are currently being held captive with charges of sorcery and risk a death sentence. It’s common in the Pacific country for those accused of sorcery, especially women, to face horrific acts of violence that often end in death. The Chinese government keeps statistics about their criminal executions secret. So Amnesty was forced to rank China based on the minimum number of executions that researchers could confirm. Using this data, the 2012 report estimates that thousands of criminals were killed in China last year alone, while the tally for the rest of the world combined stands at 682. Japan’s executions  increased, while the global trend for the death penalty is actually declining around the world, Japan, and other notable countries such as India and Pakistan resumed executing criminals after a long stint of being execution-free. At least seven death row inmates were killed in Japan last year Why the change? It all depends on which political party is in power. One prime minister will come into power and abolish the practice, then the next will just reinstate it, 21 countries in the world carried out the death penalty last year.

Michael Jackson Profile Picture

‘They Don’t Care About Us’ It remains one of the most controversial pieces he ever composed. It highlighted the lyrics, “Jew me, sue me, everybody do me/ Kick me, kike me, don’t you black or white me.” Jackson said, the idea that these lyrics could be deemed objectionable is extremely hurtful to me, and misleading. The song in fact is about the pain of prejudice and hate and is a way to draw attention to social and political problems. I am the voice of the accused and the attacked. I am not the one who was attacking. It is about the injustices to young people and how the system can wrongfully accuse them. I am angry and outraged that I could be so misinterpreted.

In the broad scope of things, only a fraction of the world’s total countries (the total being 195 count) actually used execution as a means of punishment last year. That number is down, and the few countries that do still practice execution are situated in regional pockets around the world. Just four countries in the Middle East, for example, are responsible for all the executions in the region. And in the U.S., death penalty laws differ by state, with hotbeds of execution in the U.S. South, Ohio, and Arizona. More than half the world’s countries voted in favor of a UN resolution that would declare a global moratorium on executions.

‘ Fiction of Memory’ Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus studies memories. More precisely, she studies false memories, when people either remember things that didn’t happen or remember them differently from the way they really were. It’s more common than you might think, and she shares some startling stories and statistics, and raises some important ethical questions we should all consider.

‘Will not stem Attacks’ The brutal attack in Delhi last Dec. caused shockwaves in India and there were widespread calls for the attackers to be executed. The victim’s mother had appealed for justice saying that it is justified that after the entire society considered our daughter as their own, so if the country’s daughter gets justice, the entire country will get justice. The victim, a 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist, and her male friend were lured onto a bus by 5 men and a teenager. She was repeatedly raped and tortured with a metal bar. Her injuries were so severe that she died 2 weeks later. The judge who convicted the men of gang rape and cold blooded murder to be hanged, and rejected pleas for a lighter sentence. A fifth man a teenager who had been arrested, committed suicide in prison in March. He was sentenced to 3 years only in a reformatory, hanging is not a deterrent.

Retribution means punishment that is deserved and appropriate to the crime. In contrast, many believe that revenge is related to vindicate, vengeance, and vendetta. Rather than renounce one’s personal anger, one pours that anger into action. The effort to distinguish retribution from revenge is not an original endeavor, nor is it a straightforward one. The modern system of criminal justice is founded on the belief that revenge is a primal and improper human instinct. The law is created to repress it, legal punishment can be founded on reason, due process can discipline passion, and these categories are knowable and distinct. There are distinctions about retribution and revenge among retentionists and abolitionists alike which are widely held. Revenge is often thought of as a visceral, personal desire to hurt the wrongdoer and retribution thought of as a deep desire to uphold society’s values and morals. Retribution is not a motive, whereas revenge is, revenge knows no upper limits, whereas retribution does, revenge is personal, whereas retribution can be impersonal retribution is an impartial and impersonal response to an offender for an offense done against someone, you cannot desire revenge for the harm of someone to whom you are indifferent. Criminal justice system and the American public are composed of flesh-and-blood human beings, not emotionless computers.

‘Man charged over Murder’  After 6 days of tireless investigating, police charged a 41-year-old man with murder over the disappearance of Jillian Meagher. Police investigating her disappearance found the body at the side of a road at Gisborne South, about 50km north-west of Melbourne. Adrian Ernest Bayley, from Coburg, made a brief appearance and was remanded in custody to appear again His arrest followed an investigation when Jill failed to return home after a night out with work mates.

Contrast between revenge and retribution reflects a tension between passion and reason that permeates the legal system, in part because it is an ongoing battle within every human being. In their unceasing efforts to overcome id with superego and to construct a legitimating ideology, Western legal orders attempt to substitute the stern but controlled authority of retribution for the emotionalism of revenge This distinction is a false one. Retribution is the bastard child of vengeance. In more and more cases, justice becomes the public and passionate voice of the victim (often from beyond the grave), or the vengeful anger of the victim’s kin. The detached and rational state bureaucracy, who speaks for the people against whom all offenses to the criminal law are said to be directed, soon becomes lost. The thirst for revenge and the desire to use punishment are powerful emotions which must be controlled by each individual. When this emotion pervades the criminal justice system, it becomes a motive for punishment. Revenge usurps the legal system and invalidates any moral authority society claims to have in order to obtain justice.

‘Good Neighbor’ When someone commits a crime, we want them punished. If wrongdoers go to prison more often and for longer, everyone seems happy. But we live in a system where people do eventually come out of prison and rejoin the community. And this is where what has happened to them in prison really starts to matter. If prisons are a rank breeding ground for recidivism, where drug use is unchecked and non-violent offenders are initiated into the criminal world, do you want someone who has spent time there living near you? Or would you rather see them going straight back to jail? As incarceration rates grow, if we want anyone who has been to jail to have a chance in life, maybe we need to look at a different approach: the kind of prison model that could make a killer a good neighbor.

Defenders of the death penalty might claim to reject revenge as a motive It is always easier to support capital punishment. They believe that retribution is the form justice takes in punishment, and is precisely what the criminal justice system is supposed to achieve. Punishment is only retributive by its theoretical nature. Regrettably, pure retribution as a motive for punishment is not only a fantasy when capital punishment is practiced in reality, but also will forever be tainted by human nature. No legal system is capable of deciding life and death in an infallible, evenhanded way. If retribution, in all its forms, is rejected, then the way the state punishes can properly serve society according to the utilitarian goals of rehabilitation, prevention, and deterrence.

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‘Gratitude’ Nature’s beauty can be easily missed but not through Louie Schwartzberg’s lens. Capture breathtaking images that celebrate life revealing connections, universal rhythms, patterns and beauty. Stunning time-lapse photography, is accompanied by powerful words is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others. Serves as a meditation, enjoying, grateful for every new day.

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Article written by

Jai Goulding

Educated and raised in SE London. On leaving school did an apprenticeship, and when qualified worked as a draftsman. Later immigrated to Australia and drove around the country taking 3 years living in all States. Graduated as a mature age student from 'Flinders Uni.' in '98 with a BA in Social Sciences and majored in Sociology and urban Geography. Then spent several years running own successful business designing Internet web sites and other related services.

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